Look we all have our share of heartbreaks, sometimes it comes in form of a landslide that hits you out of nowhere, sometimes it comes from falling in love with someone impossible, and sometimes it comes in completely unrelated spaces. There I was; sitting in the bitter November cold, in a show put up in the camp. Everyone had something to dance to, something to sing, and I was alone. It had been a long 10 days away from home and somehow everything had broken apart.
And this girl was on stage, all confidence, all beauty, singing “Love Story”.
That was the first time that I realised that heartbreak does not really require a reason, and sometimes it just is. It’s in the spark the burns through the tendons and leaves you awake watching the colors of the sky, it is in the little words spoken by the people when they are not aware of them.
I discovered Taylor when I came back home. She was all over the music networks, this girl with an acoustic guitar and no ensemble who was breaking all boundaries. I listened to “White Horse” a hundred times because my crush at the time said that it was important to her, I sang along to “You Belong With me” a thousand times or more, and I absorbed everything. There was something special about this woman, this woman who could walk out to the stage of the Grammies and sing a song that was pushing the boundaries of simplicity, a girl who had the chutzpah to bring in something like a love song album in the age of cynics. Plus, there was this deal, she was touching teenage hearts. We all had had our shares of Johns and Stephens and Drews, even if we didn’t know them like she did.
And soon enough she was growing again. I was growing too. When I was getting into Harry Potter again, falling in love with someone who would change my life, “Today was a Fairytale” was going out to the airwaves. Every word resonated with the lover’s soul, made me cry like a baby on the bad nights. When “Speak Now” dropped, I thought I had found someone who would always be “Mine”, and the “Sparks Fly” may as well have been my anthem.
She was growing right in front of us. Taylor had gone from this lone girl confronting the world to this girl who had learnt and was going to do something about it. The heart dripped and spilled open still, but, it did so slowly, it was more controlled, ever more growing. This was ana artist who had made the best album of her career up till then, twice now. Something that would have wow-ed even the greatest skeptic and elitist about the music.
“Red” came and passed us by. The songs were party anthems but, I was not touched, I was growing still. She seemed like a muse who was becoming distant, a muse who would not be there for long.
But, then here I am.
I listen to “1989” whenever I feel a bit out of space.
The heart is replaced by anger and poise. This is not the girl with the acoustic guitar this is a woman who can plant her heels on your chest while looking down on you. There was something about this confidence that was there, something that would make everyone turn around and take notice. After a long time, an artist had reached the peak of their careers, three times with three different albums.
You see. Swift is not an artist who I particularly fall in love with every time I hear her.
But, you know on the long nights when you think it could have been better, well, her songs make it better, and there’s that.
Here’s to you Becky, keep growing up.